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  /   Стиль и цвет
Pina Tekstil. “We’re newcomers; we have to work twice as hard”
Not too long ago, a new textile company named Pina Tekstil emerged on the Russian market. We decided to find out what the company offers, what the company’s plans are and why it is now, that the company chose the Russian market as its new ground for development.



Pina Tekstil is a family enterprise with its headquarters located in Istanbul, Turkey. The company has a showroom in Moscow. In the following interview, Eren Kılıç, Business Director, tells us a little bit about Pina Tekstil’s history, as well as the company’s plans for the near future.
19.04.2015, Стиль и цвет
- Eren, when was the company founded?
- The company is fairly young; it was founded in 2002 by my father, who by the way, is a teacher by occupation.
- That is interesting, why did he choose textile industry?
- My father’s family was involved in manufacture of raw materials for soap and some other chemical produce. In such business, it is quite hard to create something new or unique in order to distinguish yourself from the others who work in the same field. And since my father has always looked for creative ways to develop and expand, he quickly realized that textile industry offers perfect opportunities for such self-distinction. The industry offers virtually unlimited possibilities in that regard: one can create unique, original textile prints and designs, and granted there is some creativity involved, become quite attractive to potential customers. Long story short, my father has infected our relatives with his enthusiasm, and our big family decided to invest its money into textile manufacturing.
- And your family has succeeded…
Yes. When we just started, we had very few clients—mainly privately owned shops, and small furniture manufacturers. Then, since about six years ago, we started to actively expand and create large textile collections, attracting large furniture companies in the process. Eventually we created our own retail chain, which today is comprised of over one thousand outlets across Turkey.
- What is the secret of your company’s success? How can a newcomer company, that lacks experience, large manufacturing capabilities, traditions passed down through generations, or any of the other privileges possessed by established companies, become successful and above all competitive within a highly saturated Turkish market?
- You are right, the competition within the textile world is intense, so in order to become successful, we had to change the rules, if you will, by which the industry functions. We understood that if we take the standard route, nobody will notice us, and we will end up nowhere. Therefore, we rejected the traditional Turkish approach to textile manufacturing. Traditionally, textile manufacture in Turkey can be thought of as a huge conveyer line that produces large quantities of a narrow selection of fabrics. We on the other hand, took a smaller, yet wider approach. We began to form the base of our collection not only from domestic samples, but from textile types from other countries as well: Italy, Spain, Korea, China to name a few. Such variety made us unique and attractive. Just to give an example, Turkish manufacture consists of about 8 to 10 colors, when our collections include over 50 colors, a number that guaranties to satisfy any taste. Moreover, we put big emphasis on modern and fresh designs, while textile manufacture in Turkey tends to be limited by traditional patterns.
- In other words, you function as an editor brand as well…
- Yes, we do, and although we are not quite yet on the same level as the editors in Britain, we are gaining experience quickly, and we strive to reach their level.
- Your company devotes much time to design. You must have a large staff of designers.
- Yes, we have a good designing team. However, we also like to deal with freelance designers, as well as purchase designs on major fabric exhibitions. I also have a business partner in Spain, and some of the designs we created together.
- Do your collections resemble European ones?
- I would say they are more of a European-Turkish blend. We are creating a new European style.
- Perhaps you resemble Persan.
- We do. Persan produces an A+ level of textiles, while we currently maintain a B+/A level. Also, we have fewer collections than them, but our prices are lower, accordingly.
- What is your company’s pricing policy?
- I would say that pricewise, we are somewhere in between Persan and the general market. For example, our upholstery fabrics tend to be in the 7-8 dollar range. If we talk about our drapery fabrics, they range anywhere from 15 to 20 dollars. These are fairly low prices.
- These prices are for traditional designs?
- Both, traditional and modern. And we do offer fabrics in a higher price range as well, specifically, our traditional designs that deal with velvet, for example.
- So, if I understand correctly, you are not a direct competitor of such brands as Arya, Super Textile, Verona.
- No, we are not. These brands concentrate on mass production and budget pricing. We on the other hand, focus on providing our customers with large variety of fabric types and designs, not to mention the fact, that unlike most of these companies we also function as a retail; majority of our fabrics can be cut and sold by meters.
- Is Turkey your primary market?
- Yes. Turkey comprises about 80% of our market, Russia—10 %, and the rest are near-eastern countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia and Dubai.
- Why did you decide to enter the Russian market, which is already saturated with Turkish firms that have a 20-year head start on your company in that regard?
- Four years ago, we took part in Heimtextil in Moscow, for the first time. The people there liked our assortment of fabrics, and they mainly wanted to know two things: where in Russia are we located, and whether we speak the Russian language. The fact that we could not positively answer either of the two questions was the reason we could not attain any major orders at the time. We understood that, and we saw the interest in our goods, so opening an office in Moscow was the logical choice. Needless to say, we never regretted our decision, as today we have more than 200 clients in Russia.
- What are your current goals regarding the Russian market?
- Right now, what is most important for us is to build up our reputation and familiarize potential clients there with our designs. We also hope to collaborate with major retail stores there, such as Leroy Merlen, as it would provide the public with greater access to our products. As for the larger, wholesale clients, we are always ready to work on exclusive and custom designs for them.
- How did you decide which collections will represent your firm in Russia?
- We didn’t; we simply brought our main collection there. The preferences of the Russian public differ very little from that of our customers in Turkey. This is especially so with our classical designs. The differences in tastes and preferences in countries like Britain and Italy, on the other hand, are far more apparent. With that being said, some particular fabric types are especially loved in Russia. For example, velvet and wool are very popular there, which again, is not unlike Turkey. Printed fabrics are also very trendy, and have high demand.
- Which of your designs are currently the most successful in Russia?
- I would say it is velvet, some of our upholstery fabrics for couches, and certainly printed fabrics as well. Although printed fabrics, I have to say, are popular everywhere and in all collections this year. The base of our printed collection is comprised of cotton, polycotton and polyester.
- Who represents you on the Russian market?
- Currently, we have two sales teams in Russia. They travel across the country and show our products to clients.
- If we talk about starting a business in Russia, what were the toughest obstacles that you had to overcome?
- We had quite a number of problems, to be honest. Bureaucracy was certainly one of them: obtaining a license for import was no easy task. Broker affairs, logistics, customs duties and other legal matters, were all very troublesome as well. A problem of its own, was setting up business in such a way, as to function as a local editor. Russian business environment is very different from business in Turkey. Obtaining the trust of people you deal with is absolutely vital there.
- And how do you obtain trust?
- The same way one does in Turkey, really. The most important thing—customer service. For example, we try to keep our assortment of textiles balanced and regularly optimize the represented collections, but if our client wants a specific fabric that we no longer stock, we put the fabric back in production. This often means working at a loss, but satisfaction of our customers is far more important to us.
- So there is never an order not fulfilled?
- Never. We never had the luxury of being one of the market leaders in Turkey, so we could only achieve success by taking on everything, even the smallest of orders. Our reputation depends on this greatly. We are a young company on the market and we have to work twice as hard.
- How many collections have you brought to Russia?
- In Turkey, we have over one hundred collections, of which, about thirty were brought to Russia. The rent prices in Russia are very high, and if we were to bring our entire collection there, we would require a much larger storage space. At the moment, out of our forty collections of upholstery fabric, five are on storage in Russia, as well as another twenty-six collections of drapery textiles. For our clients’ convenience, we are currently developing a website, were it would possible to browse through all of the available fabrics, and make purchases with a banking card.
- Do you feel that perhaps it is time to expand your assortment even further?
- That’s not an easy question. Some of our clients become unhappy quickly with collections older than two years in existence, others get irritated when the same collections are replaced quickly and become unavailable. So considering that we strive to increase the number of clients each year, it is a tough balance to keep. We think that it is best to add three to five collections every half a year, yet maintain our textile assortment and services at as high a level as possible.
- Has the crisis affected your company at all? Have your sales dropped?
- Certainly the crisis is a tough trial for us. However, I do feel that it will not affect our sales much, as we are still new to the market. Last year we had 200 customers, this year it will be closer to 400. When the number of customers grows, so do the sales. Smaller companies do not experience the type of problems that large enterprises do.
- Do you mean to say that you plan is to grow?
- During the more stable times, many of our clients bought large amounts of textiles by rolls. Today, however, cut-length service is preferred by most—few people want to risk today. So while this crisis goes on, we feel we can stay more competitive at our current state.
Thank you for the interview.
P.S.
Сompany profile on WilliZ: williz.info/company/2341/
The head office in Turkey: pinatekstil.com.tr | Eren Kılıç | eren@pinatekstil.com.tr

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